KCPQ Channel 13, Tacoma/Seattle, Washington
Sign-Off (?) recorded June 1985

Page modified Thursday, 11 June 2020

This video of Tacoma/Seattle's Fox network station, recorded the year before it became a charter affiliate, is both interesting and disappointing--- "disappointing" because there is no formal sign-off announcement at the end of the clip (not even "we're outta here, good night"), only a quick musical station ID jingle and a few seconds of color bars before the transmitter is shut off around 2:38 AM local time.

The "interesting" is the three film featurettes that precedes the "sign-off". The first follows a quick station ID and promo for a June 23 airing of the 1953 classic From Here To Eternity. It's a film of The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV) produced by the Appaloosa Horse Club, Inc.. The Prayer is deliveded via sign-language by Chief Shatka Bear-Step, and audibly by Walt Conley.

Next up is an SSB film produced by the Presbyterian Church U.S. that features acoustic guitar and a female voice singing the fourth stanza of the "The Star Spangled Banner" instead of the first. This was the same SSB that KLRU-TV 18 in Austin TX used at sign-off time for years and was resurrected by KLRU for use in their final analog sign-off in 2009.

The third film features the song "Bluebird of Happiness", rendered by the late great American tenor Jan Peerce. The visuals are mostly waterfalls and presumably views of Washington State's Puget Sound, where the city of Tacoma is located. At the time of this recording KCPQ-TV was owned by Kelly Broadcasting, who also owned KCRA-TV 3 in Sacramento CA. KCRA also used "Bluebird of Happiness" for their sign-off, but with different visuals.

Tacoma's Channel 13 has a rather interesting 60-year history. Before joining Fox in 1986, it had two stints as an independent TV station (1954-1974 as KTVW, and 1980-1986). From 1975 to 1980 it was an educational/public TV station operated by the Clover Park School District in nearby Lakewood, running some of the PBS network's secondary programming (it was at this time Channel 13 became KCPQ). From its initial sign-on in 1953 (as KMO-TV) up until 1972, Channel 13 was only able to telecast in black-and-white.

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